Your Caravan window breaking was the result of a design flaw and the dealer should fix it for free.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a '95 Dodge Grand Caravan LE. On Monday I was putting something in the
back, and when I went to close the rear gate, the entire back window broke out.
I took it to a Dodge dealer and they said "Oh, those bolts on the shocks that
hold up the gate tend to break, but I've never seen one bust out the rear
window." I asked if they'd consider paying for it, and everyone got real quiet,
like I had just mentioned E.F. Hutton. The bill is $573.

I have a friend who says the same thing happened to her '92 Caravan, and that
Dodge fixed it for free. Is that true? -- Bill

RAY: Yes. They were fixing this problem on '92 Caravans, Bill. I know because it
happened to my wife's Caravan last year, and it was fixed for free.

TOM: It's a design flaw. One or both of the gas-filled pistons that hold the
rear liftgate open detaches from the inside of the car and just hangs there. If
you don't see it, I guess you can close the gate on it and break the window.

RAY: That didn't happen to us, because my wife noticed the thing before closing
the lift gate, but your wife is living proof that it CAN happen.

TOM: And if I were you, I'd try to get them to pay for the whole thing. They may
argue that you were negligent and should have noticed the piston hanging there
and not slammed the lift gate on it. But I think you can argue, rightfully so,
that if they hadn't produced a defective part that was hanging there in the
first place, you'd still have a fully assembled rear window now, wouldn't you?

RAY: If they paid for it for '92s, and the '95s are still having the same
problem, I can't imagine what reason they'd have for not fixing it on your car,
too. So I'd ask again, Bill. And call your Chrysler zone representative and have
a chat with him or her if you're not satisfied with the dealer's response. Good

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